Nate LaFave

Nate LaFave

Nearly 11 months after an Elkhorn Mount Michael High School student died in a car crash, tragedy has struck the school again.

Dylan Johnson, 17, was killed after he stepped in front of a train Wednesday morning in the Elkhorn area.

The Union Pacific Railroad freight train was traveling at 38 mph westbound about a half-mile west of Main and Ohio Streets at about 2:15 a.m., when Johnson stood in the path of the train, a witness reported to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

The conductor was able to bring the train to a halt about a quarter-mile after striking the teen, officials said.

Mount Michael released a statement Wednesday, saying Head of School David Peters notified the students, staff and faculty in the chapel about what happened. Afterward, Abbot Michael Liebl led everyone in prayer.

“Mount Michael Benedictine Abbey & School suffered a profound loss today,” the statement said.

Priests and Catholic Charities counselors were at Mount Michael on Wednesday and will continue to serve students in the next few weeks, the statement said.

Counselors also were available at Elkhorn High School, officials said. Johnson spent half of his sophomore year there.

Friends and fellow classmates used Twitter to express their condolences and share their memories of Johnson. One classmate wrote that Johnson was “smart, strong and very quiet.”

Johnson was in the same class as Nate LaFave, who died after a car crash last October. Mount Michael named the soccer and football field after LaFave in April. This fall, school administrators will hold a dedication ceremony.

About 7 a.m. Wednesday, a half-dozen people went to the railroad track crossing at Main and Ohio Streets and began hugging and consoling one another.

Friends and family of Johnson couldn’t be reached for comment.

World-Herald reporters Julie Anderson and Jay Withrow contributed to this report.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1068,

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